Slender, medium-sized gull with long wings. Medium-gray upperparts. Breeding plumage shows black head with white eye arcs, small white spots on black wingtips, and deep red bill and legs. Nonbreeding plumage has smudgy gray cheek and dark bill and legs. Juveniles are browner with neat scaly pattern on upperparts. The most common black-hooded gull on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of North America; common in the Caribbean and on both coasts of Central America and northern South America. Almost exclusively coastal, especially on beaches and mudflats; rarely ventures far inland. Compare with Franklin’s Gull, which is slightly more compact and shorter-billed. Laughing also has narrower eye arcs and smaller white spots on wingtips.